Method of Victory

Coach Jones theme for the pregame speech; “Method of Victory”, was almost dead on. Two hand rebounds was a method of victory. 50/50 ball were a method of victory. Offensive execution was a method of victory. Playing together, you guessed it, was a method of victory. The pregame speech was almost dead on because I don’t remember hearing a two handed falling down soccer throw in by Brian Williams talked about as a method of victory.

Seriously though, we won that game because of the hustle plays we made down the stretch. Melvin’s loose ball? What a great effort play. Brian’s rebound? That was a by-any-means-necessary tough-man play. But there were tons of those throughout the game because we played with the urgency and effort that enabled us to be in position to make those plays. As Coach Forbes implemented his really good scouting report this week, he told the guys that we needed to play defense with the mindset of “making Georgia miss shots, as opposed to hoping they miss.” Just like the second half vs. Vanderbilt, our defense dictated their offense throughout most of the second half.

I don’t know about you, but how long did it seem like the referees were looking at that monitor to see if Brian’s last-second basket was good or not? It seemed like FOREVER! As soon as the shot when in Coach Fancher said “it’s good. No doubt!” but still, you never know. After referee Teddy Valentine put up two fingers and before he could say the “two” in “two points, basket counts,” the hugs of excitement kicked in. Georgia is a really, really good basketball team that was undefeated at home and a team that completely embarrassed us there last year. But we got one back Tuesday night. We got a win that not many other teams in this league are going to get.

The reason we have won two games in a row is mostly due to the fact that we have gotten back to focusing on the little things. The effort plays we can control that Coach Jones talked about in his pregame speech. This is where our mindset was at the beginning of the season but will it remain? Some people will be saying, “Tennessee has turned the corner.” Me, I’m not sold…at all. Why not? Shoot, why would I be? Let’s face it, we have played inconsistently and have not necessarily handled success very well this year….umm, at all.

With a battle vs. UCONN looming on Saturday how will we prepare? What will our mindset be? Will we continue to improve and focus on the methods to victory, or will we enable individual demons to dismantle our current success? I won’t know that until after I see how our guys come to practice the next few days but until then I do know two things. 1. For those of you with heart trouble, please make sure you continue to take your heart medication before you watch our basketball team play. And 2. IT”S GREAT, TO BE, A TENNESSEE VOL! I SAID ITS GREAT, TO BE, A TENNESSEE VOL!!!

GO VOLS!!

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About Mark Pancratz's Blog

A native of Schaumburg, Ill., Mark Pancratz played Division I basketball at UW-Milwaukee, earning his degree in marketing and finance. He joined Tennessee's staff in 2006 as a graduate assistant, earning his master's degree in sports management later that year. Serving as a G.A., director of video scouting and assistant to the head coach, Pancratz was an integral part of Tennessee's six-consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. At 26, Pancratz boasts an impressive 18 games of NCAA Tournament experience as a player and/or administrative staff member. He is a member of the Illinois High School Basketball Hall of Fame and voted one of the 100 Legends of Illinois High School Basketball. Pancratz resides in Knoxville and is married to the former Brooke Waddell.
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2 Responses to Method of Victory

  1. Mike says:

    I LOVE these posts from someone inside, and hope you stay with them forever! Three questions/areas I would love to see you comment on:

    1) How much work does the team do on FTs and passing SAFELY? I don’t get to see many of our games, but when I do, these are our CONSTANT weaknesses, and they are both coachable.

    2) Does Coach Pearl accept responsibility for miscues like not calling a TO when it was apparent the last play last night had gone bad right from the start?

    3) What is poor Tobias thinking at this juncture. I have to believe he’s wondering if he made the right decision to become a Vol!

    Mike (UTK ’66) in NC

    • pancratzfullcourtpress says:

      Thanks for reading my blog Mike and for your questions-
      1) We actually begin 80% of our practices with passing drills in which we emphasize 2 hands on everything and placing the ball on time and on target. As for Free Throws, I would be shocked if there was another team in the country that worked on free throws more than we do ever day during the season. From pressure free throws, to free before or after practice, our guys get their fair share of free throw rep’s in. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to simulate the mental side of standing at the free throw line with 20,000 sets of eyes on you. I actually had a conversation with Coach Shay about this yesterday. He believes making free throws are 80% mental however, I believe it is closer to 90%.

      2) I think based on yesterdays comments in the newspaper you can see that Coach Pearl has been agonizing over the last few minutes of that game and that yes, he wishes he would have called time out.

      3) Tobias is down about the loss but LOVES putting on that organe and white Tenessee uniform! Sure we might be struggeling right now but I’m pretty sure the way he fits in our system, the fan support, winning at home in MYC, the friends he has made on team, our staff and many many other things has solidified why its great to be a Tennessee Vol.

      Thanks again for the support!

      GO VOLS!!

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